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As an established provider of registration plates, from 3D, 4D, Private & show plates, we at Bespoke Plates are often asked ‘Do private plates affect insurance?’

This is a valid and important question, as the last thing you want to deal with after receiving your very own personalised plate is being told it’ll affect your insurance. We will be addressing this and other helpful facts for you.

What are the rules for Private Plates in the UK?

You must ensure that your number plate meets the strict criteria of private plate rules otherwise you are eligible for a £1000 fine and failed MOT status.

The government outlines that all UK number plates must:

  • be made from a reflective material – for the purpose of road safety
  • black display characters on a white background (front plate)
  • black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern – so as not to distort the readability of your plate
  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries
  • be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021
  • The characters must not be removable or reflective. If your number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black

It should also be noted that private number plates cannot be used to make your vehicle seem younger than it is. For example, if your car is registered in 2013 and has a 13 plate, you could not replace this to have a 22 plate to give the illusion that it was manufactured this year.

This is the case no matter what the legal registration is, and DVLA-approved manufacturers can only make such plates.

Private plate documents

Private plates must have either a V750 certificate or a V778 retention document to prove you have legal ownership and the right to use the bespoke design.

The V750 is the document that assigns the actual registration mark to the new owner. This document will be needed for assigning a plate and for selling in the future.

The V778 is the retention document needed to keep ownership of a private plate and to be able to use it legally on the roads. Valid for ten years, it only needs to be renewed if the plate is not currently assigned to a vehicle.

The legalities of a custom plate

Processing private plates

If you are changing cars or have recently come into ownership of your private plate, you must legally process the change. Once you have successfully been approved to use the plate on a new vehicle, you must ensure you have the physical copy of the V778 retention document and V5C logbook before you can use the plate.

You can also only assign private plates to vehicles that meet the below criteria:

  • The vehicle must be legally registered with DVLA in the UK and have a valid MOT certificate.
  • Only operational cars can be assigned private plates so they must be able to move under their own power.
  • The DVLA reserves the right that you be available for them to carry out inspections on cars which have a private plate. This can be at any time so it must always be available for inspection.
  • The vehicle has been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years

If you want to apply to change a vehicle’s registration, this will cost you £80. You must also update your insurance at the same time otherwise your coverage is not legally relevant.

Do private plates hold value?

Private plates hold a financial value, though the value will vary from plate to plate. Private plates hold value as they could spell a name, or word, have a significant meaning, or be very rare, an example being the ‘F1’ Plate.

Prices range from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds and beyond depending on the seller. The high price range of some private plates is due to the previously mentioned factors alongside the fact that number plates are individual and can’t be replicated.

Do Private Plates affect insurance?

It must be highlighted that insurance providers may have different policies in regard to this subject, so it is always best to check with your insurance provider directly before making any commitments with private plating.

So do private plates affect insurance? In general private plating should not affect your insurance as it is not considered a modification on the vehicle. However, there are steps you must take in order to have your private plates compliant with the rules of the road.

As soon as the DVLA confirm that your new registration is transferred to your vehicle then you must inform your insurer. This is so that the Vehicle registration held on the MID (Motor Insurance Database) matches that of the DVLA and the vehicle record itself which holds information relating to the road tax and MOT status of all vehicles.

Providing you have notified the DVLA that you have changed your plates, and received a new V5C vehicle log book, you have the legal right to display your personalised number plates.

3D & 4D Plates

Our most popular options for custom plates are our 3D & 4D plates, here is a brief description of them both.

3D plates

  • Characters placed by hand
  • Acrylic plate – polyurethane letters
  • Rounded raised characters with a wet, gel-like look

3D plates are made from acrylic with individual raised letters. The raised letters are manufactured from polyurethane and get ‘stuck’ to the acrylic plate by hand. An aligner bar is used to guarantee perfect spacing.

The rounded and shiny gel-like appearance of 3D plates makes them a great choice if you want to add understated personalisation to your vehicle.

4D plates

  • Characters placed by hand
  • Acrylic plate – acrylic letters (laser cut)
  • Rectangular and deep raised characters

4D plates are also made from acrylic but instead of polyurethane characters, they use professionally laser cut characters made from acrylic sheet. This allows the characters to be thicker and more rectangular for a more eye-catching look.

You can also get 4D gel characters which have a ‘wet look’. These are made in the same way as 3D letters but have a thicker profile.

4D plates carry a premium over 3D plates by up to 20%. The reason 4D plates cost more is that the individual characters are laser cut, or they are of the thicker gel variety. In the case of laser-cut, the characters are also made to order in-house.

The 3D and 4D plates we offer are available in several styles:


  • 4D 3mm
  • 4D 5mm
  • 4D Gel
  • 4D Glitter Gel
  • Carbon 4D Gel
  • Krystal 4D
  • Krystal Gel


  • Black
  • Carbon Brickwork
  • Carbon Galaxy
  • Glitter Gel

It’s important to note that with all these different styles, the only thing that changes is the texture and appearance of the characters.

Want to see what we mean rather than read an explanation? Head over to our website so you can visualize what your plate could look like.

Do you like what you see? We have same-day collections and fittings available.

Can You Still Buy 3D Number Plates?

Order your private plate today

We hope for anyone still wondering ‘Do private plates affect insurance?’’ that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs. Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved licence vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates you can talk to one of the members of our team by:

  • Email – info@bespoke-plates.co.uk
  • Phone – 0333 006 7878
  • Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,



M8 8NN

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